In a passionate plea, former Irish prime minister John Bruton urged voters to protect babies’ lives by voting no in the upcoming referendum.
Bruton served as taoiseach from 1994 to 1997, leader of Fine Gael for more than a decade and, more recently, as an ambassador of the European Union to the United States. In a new video for Protect the 8th, he explained what is at stake in the referendum vote.
He said the real question voters should ask themselves is this: “Should the unborn child in the womb have any protection from the Irish Constitution at all? If you were to cast your vote in favor of the government’s proposal, you’d be saying the unborn child in the womb should have no protection at all.”
On May 25, Ireland is scheduled to vote on whether to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, are pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand.
Pro-lifers estimate that the Eighth Amendment has saved approximately 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion.
If the amendment is repealed, government leaders plan to push a proposal to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 6 months in a wide range of circumstances.
Bruton said the proposal would allow abortions on healthy babies and healthy mothers for any reason up to 12 weeks, and on healthy babies whose mothers have physical or mental health problems up to six months. What’s more, if the Eighth Amendment is repealed, he said there is nothing to prevent future governments from legalizing abortion for any reason at any stage of pregnancy.
“Abortion does not cure a mental illness. It does take an innocent life,” the former prime minister said.
“It’s my view that if we are to vote yes, we will be repeating the mistakes made in so many other countries, like Britain, where up to one in five pregnancies now end in abortion. Of these abortions, 97 percent are performed on healthy mothers and healthy babies whose lives are ended,” he continued.
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“That’s not compassionate. In fact, that’s the very opposite of compassionate,” Bruton continued. “We can as a nation do better than this.”
Pro-life advocates have been working hard against a biased media, celebrities and huge, illegal donations from rich American businessmen who are intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand. Pro-life volunteers have been knocking on doors across Ireland to save the Eighth Amendment and thousands of unborn babies’ lives.
Many of their efforts at outreach have been met with hostility and vandalism by abortion activists. Earlier this month, an abortion activist allegedly assaulted a pro-lifer in Galway as he was attempting to hang up a poster.
The medical community also has been fighting misinformation.
Dr. Eamon McGuinness, a former chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland, recently wrote a column for the Irish Times refuting claims that the pro-life amendment is dangerous for women’s health.
If the laws truly were putting women at risk, McGuiness said he “would be leading the charge to have them expunged from the Constitution. A constitutional restriction on my ability, or the ability of any of my colleagues, to save the life of a pregnant woman would indeed be intolerable.”
Since 1983, when Ireland passed its Eighth Amendment, McGuinness said the country has become one of the safest places in the world for pregnant mothers and their babies.
Several polls this spring show the pro-abortion campaigners are losing ground, and many voters remain undecided. Still, support for abortion is higher than opposition. In April, the Business Insider reported 47 percent of Irish voters now say they will vote to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment – down 9 points from an earlier poll. According to the poll, 28 percent will vote to retain the pro-life amendment, and 20 percent are undecided.